After an undermanned Celtics team pushed the Cavaliers to a seven-game series in the 2018 playoffs, a healthy Boston team was the favorite to win this year's LeBron-less Eastern Conference. But after a rocky start to the year, the Celtics ran into a buzzsaw in the Milwaukee Bucks who bounced the team in the second round of the playoffs. This was not only a major disappointment for the fans that figured the team would be championship contenders (word to Bill Simmons), but it also frustrated the players. Perhaps none mores than Terry Rozier.
On Tuesday, Rozier sat down with ESPN's First Take, where he detailed how a lack of chemistry on and off the court led to Boston's demise.
"Things was all good before we actually started," Rozier explained. "I still had a positive mindset that we was going to make it work, ever since that day that Kyrie announced in front of the fans that if we would like him back that he'd come back. Things I feel like shifted left for me, I just seen how people was treating me with the attitudes and I feel like I was just thrown in the backseat. And I talked to Brad [Stevens] and I talked to guys multiple times but I feel like there's nothing I could do."
This echoes sentiments Rozier expressed to Yahoo Sports immediately following Boston's elimination from the playoffs.
"[Coach] Brad [Stevens] was in a tough position... dealing with all these guys with attitudes, all that (expletive)," Rozier said at the time. "A lot of things weren't fair to me. That's what I don't (expletive) and complain. I don't give a (expletive) what nobody say, I sacrificed the most out of everybody."
When asked by the First Take crew to go in depth about the "attitudes" he continues to mention, Rozier alluded to the fact that a selfish mindset surrounding contracts and playing time hindered the team from reaching its potential and singled out the way Kyrie Irving and Gordon Hayward were essentially treated with kids gloves
"You dealing with guys that's getting paid so much money in Gordon Hayward. You dealing with Kyrie Irving who everybody knows about," Rozier said. "Then you got me, [Jayson Tatum], Jaylen Brown... it's everybody's attitude not just those guys... and it wasn't easy with coaching because you got guys that want to be the man, guys that is the man, guys that's already paid, guys that want to get paid. So, it wasn't easy. This was the most talented team I've ever played on."
Despite a plethora of talent, Rozier seems doubtful that he will flourish in Boston if nothing changes. In addition to the in-house squabbling, Rozier explained that he had to compromise his playing style to feed Irving. To him, playing out of position stops him from being viewed as a star talent. As a result, he disclosed that if nothing changes with the personnel, he will be forced to take his talents elsewhere.
"I might have to go," Rozier said with a smile when asked of the hypothetical scenario. "I put up with a lot this year. I said what I said at the end of the season. I think we all know that I'm not trying to step into that again."
Rozier also sat down with Mike Greenberg on Get Up and did his best to not take shots at Irving while, well, taking shots at Irving.